“As far as coaching, being in a wheelchair, the biggest disadvantage is not being able to play with the players and not being able to demonstrate,” he said. “All of the teaching there’s really no difference. It’s actually probably helped me a little bit being in a wheelchair. They say when one sense is taken away, the others become strong. I think my sense of observation is better than it’s ever been.
“Sports can teach you a lot of good things,” he added. “Competition, teamwork, attention to detail. … All those things help in life.”
Moore used his life experience only sparingly as tools to teach with, and occasionally related to his past playing days. In years following the accident, his players could still remember what Moore could do with a racket.
The last few generations only had his words to go on.
With the last two players he’ll coach getting their last few reps in, Moore has no regrets starting a new chapter. Why now?
“I just need to do something else,” he said. “I’ve been teaching tennis since I was 18 years old. I’ve been around tennis now for 35 years. It’s just the time for me to do something different. I want to go back to school, get another major.”
Leuders said Clinton would hold an open candidate search for its next coach, and the legacy Moore is leaving behind will leave big shoes to fill.
“We want someone who’s going to be able to develop an excellent teaching relationship with our kids,” Leuders said. “When you have a guy that’s done what David’s done over the last 24 years — that gave us a huge leg up as a communicator — that’s something you want to try to look for.”